Massive Increases in Govt Funding for Private Schools

New figures show that private schools were massively favoured over public schools by government funding increases between 2008-09 and 2012-13. Funding for private schools, adjusted for inflation, increased by a staggering eight times more than for public schools.

The huge disparity shows that governments give greater priority to funding more privileged sections of the community than improving the learning outcomes of disadvantaged students, the overwhelming majority of whom attend public schools. The disparity is even larger than that revealed by the latest Report on Government Services, which shows that funding for private schools increased by four times that for public schools.

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Funding Increases Benefit Disadvantaged Students

Increased school funding brings large improvements for low income students in high school graduation rates and educational attainment, wages, family income, and reductions in adult poverty according to a study published by the US National Bureau of Economic Research. It also found that these effects were dependent on how the increased funding was spent.

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New Figures Show that Government Funding Increases Favour Private Schools

New school funding figures provided to Senate Estimates show that government funding increases for Catholic and Independent schools have outstripped funding increases for public schools since 2009. The percentage increase in funding for Catholic and Independent schools was almost double that for public schools despite the fact that public schools enrol the overwhelming majority of students in need of increased support.

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Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch

The US Senate is currently conducting hearings on the future of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation introduced by President George Bush Jnr. The hearings have focused first on the federally mandated testing regime for all US children in grades 3-8. The critical issue is whether there is too much testing in US schools. A huge opt-out movement against testing has developed. A key leader of the movement is Diane Ravitch a former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George Bush Snr. The Secretary of Education at the time was Lamar Alexander, now a Senator who is chairing the Senate committee hearings on the NCLB. Diane Ravitch has written the following open letter to the Senator calling on him to drop annual standardised testing in schools. Continue reading “Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch”

More Funding for Low Achieving Students Improves School Outcomes

A new academic study shows that additional funding for low achieving students significantly increases schooling outcomes. It found that a program in the Netherlands that gives more funding to high schools to provide learning support for students who have fallen behind substantially increases the probability that they will pass the exam at the end of secondary school. Continue reading “More Funding for Low Achieving Students Improves School Outcomes”

SOS Supplementary Submission on Low SES Funding Loadings

Save Our Schools has submitted a supplementary “uninvited” submission to the Federal Government’s review of the low SES funding loadings. The loadings are a central feature of the Gonski funding plan. The submission calls on the review to reject the proposal by Independent Schools Victoria to remove the additional loadings for schools with greater concentrations of low SES students.

Independent Schools Victoria has long opposed additional funding loadings for low SES students because it claims that the relationship between SES and student achievement is weak. It ignores a massive amount of research evidence showing that family SES has a very significant influence on student achievement at school. The strong relationship is one of the most robust findings in education research. Continue reading “SOS Supplementary Submission on Low SES Funding Loadings”

Call to Keep Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students

A new education policy brief published by Save Our Schools has confirmed the need for higher funding loadings for schools with greater concentration of disadvantaged students. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that a proposal by Independent Schools Victoria to remove additional funding for highly disadvantaged schools should be rejected by the Federal Government. Continue reading “Call to Keep Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”

Money Matters, Spend it Right

A debate has raged for decades about whether money makes a difference in education. The arguments are at the forefront again in the debate about the Gonski funding plan.

Opponents of Gonski claim that research shows that more money does not improve student results. For example, the National Commission of Audit report said there was “no clear, consistent correlation … between increased funding and school outcomes”.

It is also claimed that large increases in spending in the past in Australia confirm this. The Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, regularly claims that school funding increased by 44 per cent in real terms since 2000 but school results have declined. The Commission of Audit report made a similar claim.

The claims are highly misleading. The first is based on a very selective reading of the research evidence while the second vastly exaggerates the actual increase in funding and ignores significant improvements in student outcomes. Continue reading “Money Matters, Spend it Right”

Gonski Funding Will Future Proof Access to Quality Education

As a young man in his new country, he is entitled to access quality education locally. He has come to Australia as a 17 year old refugee without family of any description and often has home utilities cut off. Yet through a personalised learning program which is appropriately resourced, his life experience possibilities and opportunities are now much richer.

Purposeful, targeted and strategically planned resourcing will, can and does provide significant learning opportunities for our students most in need. The education funding reform has been expertly and fairly developed. Continue reading “Gonski Funding Will Future Proof Access to Quality Education”

The Case for Gonski Plus Funding Loadings for Low SES Students

This is the text of a new education research brief published by SOS. The references are available in the downloadable version below. The brief has been submitted to the review of the low SES loadings being conducted by the Federal Government. Continue reading “The Case for Gonski Plus Funding Loadings for Low SES Students”